A new scramble for land is heating up across the developing world.

There are currently 47 least developed countries (LDCs), populated  by over 1 billion people, approximately 13 per cent of the world’s population, and it is projected to almost double to 1.9 billion by 2050.  It is the world’s fastest population growth rate, combined with the slowest economic development rate. Almost half of the population of LDCs still lives in extreme poverty, combined together the LDCs account for only 1.2 per cent of the global GDP.

The Report discusses the overall framework for development policies in LDCs. It places the challenge of designing and effectively implementing development strategies for LDCs in the broader context of global development issues. Of special relevance in this context are the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (United Nations 2015a), and the Istanbul Programme of Action for the Least Developed Countries for the Decade 2011-2020 (United Nations 2011). These frameworks are all based on interaction among the three pillars of sustainable development: Social, economic and environmental development. The policies to serve the three pillars are complementary and interdependent. Both the IPoA and the 2030 Agenda are “based on commitments, accountability and partnership between least developed countries and their development partners to undertake concrete actions in a number of interlinked areas. This requires supportive and integrated policies across a wide range of economic, social and environmental issues” (United Nations 2011: para.30). The chapter also describes the framework that has guided UNCTAD’s policy analysis and recommendations for LDCs over the past 15 years. This framework is based on the understanding that their social, economic and environmental development towards achieving the SDGs and their graduation from LDC status requires the building of productive capacities and structural transformation. One of the main requirements for prosperity in all countries is a stable macroeconomic environment. Chapter II takes up the main components of development-friendly macroeconomic policies and explains the relevance of certain macroeconomic instruments for the building of productive capacities and structural transformation. It discusses possible conflicts between the objectives of accelerating development, on the one hand, and macroeconomic stabilization, on the othe.

This Compendium discusses those policy challenges that are typical for most LDCs and summarizes the main policy options derived from the analytical work carried out by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes. It synthesizes the findings and policy recommendations published in its flagship documents since 2004.

By Katsiaryna Serada



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